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"Some have pepper spray for protection."Sauve qui Peut!!
Victoria businesses consider moving amid spiralling random violence
Many store owners and staffs are used to almost daily incidents. Some have pepper spray for protection.
Ryan Burghardt, owner of Budget Brake and Muffler, shows where a fence around his yard had been cut. Ryan Burghardt was recently charged by a man brandishing scissors and a handful of his own feces.
It wasn’t the first time the owner of Budget Brake and Muffler, at Douglas and Bay streets, has had to ward off attacks and threats or absorb the costs of ongoing thefts and vandalism by an unsheltered population in the downtown core, many of them suffering from drug addiction and severe mental-health issues. And it isn’t going to be the last, Burghardt said.
“It happens all the time around here,” he said.
Vehicles have been damaged, staff have been put in danger and items have been stolen, including a cellphone off the front counter.
“You just wonder if it’s ever going to end,” Burghardt said. “Moving my business out of the downtown core is a weekly thought. Langford is an option, but it’s pretty hard to uproot a 40-year-old business. I already commute from Mill Bay because I’ve moved my family to a safer place to live.”
Burghardt’s nine staff are used to the almost daily incidents. Some have pepper spray for protection.
A block away on Government Street, David Screech of Gregg’s Furniture is considering moving his business; it has been there for 55 years.
Isn't that illegal?